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Google Glass improves with each new update

by Lillie-Beth Brinkman Modified: February 3, 2014 at 11:00 pm •  Published: February 3, 2014

Google Glass continues to get more useful with each update and application written for it.

Even though the smartphone-like device that you wear on your head like glasses is not yet available for the general public to buy, Google is slowly rolling Glass out to new users through invitations from existing users. I can see people embracing the technology more and more with each improvement.

I cheered in December when Google announced it had finally developed a MyGlass app for iOS, which welcomed Apple iPhone users to the full use of Glass that Android users have enjoyed all along.

So with the new app, I have been enjoying the ability to get turn-by-turn directions to a location on Glass and hearing them projected through the device (phrases like “turn right at the next intersection.)” Thanks to the iPhone app, I also have been able to show people what I am seeing on Glass through what Google calls “screencasts.”

But in putting Glass back on my head to try out the iPhone app, I also have found newer applications and updates that have improved the device. These have given it the potential to become part of our regular lives in the future — if we were to commit to wearing our technology on our faces.

A hardware update announced in October let early Glass users, known as Explorers, swap out their old Glass for a new one that will allow for prescription frames. It also included an earbud for better phone conversations.

And now when I say “ok glass” to launch commands by voice activation, the list of choices I have is much more extensive than when I first I got the device in June. Some of the choices are due to third-party applications that I’ve installed; others have come with Google’s own updates, but they include:

“Take a picture,” “record a video,” “get directions to,” “send a message to,” “make a call to,” “make a video call to,” “start a round of golf,” “start a timer,” “record a recipe,” “start a stopwatch,” “listen to” (music for Google Play Music subscribers), “show a compass,” “translate this” and “find a recipe.”

As always, you can still use Glass to post videos and photos to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and now even to Tumblr and WordPress.

But in addition to the turn-by-turn directions, here are some new things I’ve done with Glass lately and applications I’ve learned about:

•I launched a Google Hangout on Glass with my children from my youngest son’s basketball practice. I showed them what I was seeing #throughglass. Although for them the view was blurry projected to their iPod Touches, I could see their faces on my device. This technology will only get better.

•I have winked to take a photograph in addition to using voice commands and buttons.

•I took a photo of colors I liked in the real world and shared them with Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnapGlass app, which created paint swatches based on those colors.

•I imagined playing a round of golf using the GolfSight by SkyDroid app. This app is a GPS range finder that gives you pin distance, course data and scoring information on Glass. It will even find nearby golf courses for you.

•I looked for signs in Spanish so they could be translated by the Word Lens for Glass by Quest Visual app. I didn’t find any in a quick search, but I see this app being useful for English speakers who don’t speak Portuguese, German, Italian, French or Spanish (all languages available in the app) and almost easier to use via Glass than a smartphone.

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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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